Pregame Post-Ups: Celtics Were "Lucky" To Win Game 5?

Friday, April 28 – Celtics at Bulls

Pregame – Stevens: Celtics Were “Lucky” To Win Game 5

CHICAGO – Game 5 was a winner for the Boston Celtics, but in Brad Stevens’ mind, it shouldn’t have been.

“We were lucky to win,” he said before tonight’s Game 6 at the United Center.

Why, you might ask? Well, the Celtics were outshot 50.0 percent to 43.2 percent, and they made only nine of their 40 attempts from 3-point range.

“Sometimes when you go 9-for-40 from 3,” he joked, “things don’t turn out your way.”

They did, however, and that’s because Boston played a strong brand of basketball in every other facet of the game.

The Celtics grabbed more steals (nine to four), committed fewer turnovers (six to 16), committed fewer fouls (16 to 21) and were close in the rebounding battle (38 to 42). Stevens singled out the turnovers and rebounds as the keys to the victory. He believes that if Boston plays well in those two areas, it will always have a chance to grab a win.

“We know that we have to fight for every ball. When we don’t, we’ll get beat. Our guys understand that,” he commented. “And that may only mean that we’re only even in rebounding or even a little bit less, but that’s OK, because if we can take care of the ball and shoot it a little bit better we’ll give ourselves a chance to win.”

The Celtics will give themselves a chance to win tonight if the Law of Averages, which Stevens regularly references, comes into play.

“My hope is that water finds its level,” he said of his team’s shooting, which was well below its season averages during Game 5. “You always hope water finds its level when things aren’t going well, and you never talk about it when you’re making every shot.”

Let’s hope we aren’t talking about it by the end of Friday night, because if that’s the case, the Celtics won’t need any luck to win Game 6. They’ll ride hot shooting right on into the next round of the NBA Playoffs

– Marc D’Amico

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